NEW YEAR'S & NORTHERN LIGHTS ADVENTURE

from EUR 1440

Celebrate New Year's Eve in a casual and Icelandic way. Explore Reykjavík, the Reykjanes peninsula, the Blue Lagoon, the Golden Circle and the South Coast. Stay in simple hotels and cottages in Reykjavík and South Iceland; all rooms with private shower/wc. Discover and experience how Icelandic countryside people celebrate New Year's Eve. Oops, did we mention the Northern Lights?

Tour Code: GJ-24-NY
  • Tour Availability: Thu
  • Seasons: From Dec 29th to Jan 02nd
  • Duration: 5 days
  • Min. nr of Participants: 1

NEW YEAR'S & NORTHERN LIGHTS ADVENTURE IN SOUTH ICELAND (5 days / 4 nights)

Tour dates: 29.12.2017-02.01.2018

This is an escorted tour program taking you to the Icelandic countryside to celebrate New Year's Eve in a casual and Icelandic way. We recommend booking early, as this program is only available for a maximum of 40 persons.

Auroras in Iceland.jpgYou explore Reykjavík, the lunar landscapes of the Reykjanes peninsula, and the Golden Circle route with the Thingvellir national park, Gullfoss waterfall, and Geysir hot springs. You travel to South Iceland, a region with glaciers, waterfalls and black lava beaches. Of course, a warm and relaxing soak in the famous Blue Lagoon during the cold winter days is also included.

Most New Year's programs in Iceland are based in Reykjavík and include superior class hotels and gourmet restaurants. As an out-of-the-box alternative GJ-Travel offers a casual New Year's adventure where you stay in simple hotels and cottages in Reykjavík and South Iceland; all rooms with private shower/wc. We spend two nights in Hella, a small village in South Iceland where you will be able to discover and experience how Icelandic countryside people celebrate New Year's Eve. We promise that even in a casual program the meals and drinks will be delicious. Oops, did we mention the Northern Lights? Árhús cottages in Hella are located in a large and dark garden where it is very easy to see the Northern Lights, also called Aurora Borealis, if the weather conditions are suitable. Our expert tour guide provides you also with a fact talk about the Northern Lights and gives you some tips how to take photos of this natural phenomenon. On the 1st of January, the program includes fine dining at Perlan restaurant which offers one of Reykjavík's best panoramic view. We look forward celebrating with you the start of 2018 in the Icelandic countryside.

Note: There is an upgrade option for lodging at Hotel Plaza in Reykjavik and Stracta Hotel in Hella (limited amount of rooms available).

Tour Code: GJ-24-NY

NEW YEAR'S & NORTHERN LIGHTS ADVENTURE IN SOUTH ICELAND (5 days / 4 nights)

Tour dates: 29.12.2017-02.01.2018

Land of Northern Light 2013-14.jpgThis is a new escorted tour program taking you to the Icelandic countryside to celebrate New Year's Eve in a casual and Icelandic way. We recommend booking early, as this program is only available for a maximum of 40 persons.

Day 1, December 29th: WELCOME (50 km/31 mls)
The Flybus shuttle brings travelers from Keflavík International Airport to Hotel Cabin in Reykjavík where you spend one night. We provide you with ideas how to explore Iceland's capital on your own. (Upgrade option is with lodging at Centerhotel Plaza in Reykjavík - limited amount of rooms available).

Day 2, December 30th: REYKJAVIK CITY TOUR & THE BLUE LAGOON (220 km/137 mls)
At 09:00 meet your tour guide who shows the group highlights of Iceland's exciting capital. Then we head out to the Reykjanes peninsula with its hot springs, mountains, bird cliffs, lighthouses and fishing villages. At the end of the day, we get to soak off our travels in the warm blue waters of the famous Blue Lagoon. We stay for two nights in simple cottages in South Iceland. (Upgrade option is with lodging at Stracta Hotel in Hella).

In the evening you have a presentation about the Northern Lights. If the night is clear, step out in the garden and check if the Northern Lights are visible. Also, known as the Aurora Borealis, these spectacular skylight shows can frequently be seen in Iceland from September through April on clear and crisp nights. White and green are usually the dominant colors of northern lights, but sometimes there are considerable color variations. They are ephemeral, however, sightings are not guaranteed. The grounds of Arhús Cabins and Hotel Stracta in Hella are very large and dark that offers you an excellent location for Northern Lights search if the weather conditions are right. It requires patience, warm clothing and the excitement of "maybe there are Northern Lights".

Day 3, December 31st: SOUTH ICELAND & NEW YEARS CELEBRATIONS (200 km/124 mls)
After breakfast, we head along the South coast and get out near the active volcano that is beneath the Eyjafjallajökull glacier. We stop at the high but narrow Seljalandsfoss waterfall, which plunges over the mountain. There's a trail that goes behind the falling water and offers impressive views if you are prepared to get wet! Further east we visit one of Iceland's finest folk museums. This museum contains an outstanding collection of farm and domestic artifacts typical of Iceland's past, as well as turf-built houses. Nearby is Skógafoss waterfall which is 62 meters high and one of the most impressive waterfalls in the country. We continue to the seaside and stroll on the black lava beach to see the amazing bird cliffs at Reynisfjara near Vík.
In the evening we celebrate New Year the Icelandic way. Before dinner, we join a guided bus tour to visit the bonfires in the villages of Hvolsvöllur and Hella. The traditional Brenna bonfires of New Year's Eve had their origins in the Middle Ages when people built bonfires to burn the old things they no longer needed. In Iceland, there are bonfires all around the country where inhabitants gather, shoot off fireworks, sing and dance as they wait for the New Year to come in.

Your festive 4-course dinner starts around 20:30 and is served at Árhús Restaurant on the river banks in Hella, which is a small village in South Iceland. Around 23:30 one of the local rescue team members joins our group and lights our own small fireworks. Afterwards, we walk through the village and celebrate New Years's with a bang when at midnight the sky opens with thousands of fireworks set off in the village by the local inhabitants. This is an experience of a lifetime; you will never forget. Drink a toast of sparkling wine as you enjoy a real special Icelandic New Year's celebration. (Note that guests at Stracta Hotel join all festivities at Árhús Restaurant).

If the night is clear, you might be lucky enough to see the Northern Lights swirling in a wild and carefree dance across the heavens in dramatic shapes, colors, patterns and sizes.

Day 4, January 1st: GOLDEN CIRCLE & CULINARY EXPERIENCE AT PERLAN (210 km/130 mls)
Today we travel the Golden Circle route. You see steam from the Geysir geothermal fields as you arrive. There are a variety of hot springs and bubbling pools. The original geyser is now dormant but has been replaced by Strokkur "the Churn" which erupts at 5-10 minute intervals. You continue to Gullfoss "the golden falls", a double waterfall that tumbles 34 meters into the Hvítá river, and attracts tourists and travelers in summer and winter. We travel inland to Thingvellir National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site before returning to Reykjavík for one night. Overnight at Hotel Cabin. (Upgrade option is with lodging at Centerhotel Plaza in Reykjavík). The program includes a culinary treat at Perlan restaurant - one of Reykjavík's best panoramic view. The menu is : Traditional Icelandic fried bread and whipped butter ‘ pumpernickel ; Cured and smoked salmon, cured goose breast & accompaniments ; Glazed leg of lamb, creamy wild mushrooms & carrots & Columbia crème brûlée, dark chocolate, pistachios & bilberries.

Day 5, January 2nd: DEPARTURE HOME (50 km/31 mls)
Individual transfer by Flybus airport shuttle from your accommodation in Reykjavík to Keflavík Airport.

CHANGE OF PROGRAM: Itineraries may be subject to change at short notice during severe weather conditions and certain outdoor activities/day trips may be canceled during the winter season in Iceland. In these rare cases, where situations of force majeure apply, excursions/activities cannot be refunded but the local guides will try their best to find reasonable alternatives where and whenever possible.

Tour Code: GJ-24-NY

Price in EUR per person:

Season     Accommodation Price in
single room 
Price in
double room 
Price in double
room w/extra bed
29.12.17 - 02.01.18 Budget : sold out: Hotel Cabin & Árhús Cottages, Hella  EUR 1.650 EUR 1.440 EUR 1.440
29.12.17 - 02.02.18 Upgrade sold out: Centerhotel Plaza & Stracta Hotel, Hella EUR 2.240 EUR 1.670 EUR 1.670

Included:

  • Arrival & departure airport transfer by FLYBUS (no guide)
  • Fully escorted 3-day coach tour with English speaking guide
  • Bonfire and New Year's Celebration Tour on day 3
  • 4-night budget accommodation, rooms with private shower/wc (see information below)
  • Daily breakfast 
  • 4-course festive dinner on the 31st of December 
  • Fine dining at Perlan restaurant on the 1st of January including transfers
  • Entrance with towel at Blue Lagoon
  • Entrance fee to Skógar Folk Museum and Turf Houses
  • Northern Lights program during two evenings with a combination of lectures, presentations, film and guided searches for Northern Lights and midnight refreshments.
  • New: Use of winter & Northern Lights Explorer equipment: Simple non-slip snow & ice grippers spikes for shoes and flashlight

NATURE FEES: There is a possibility that some of the natural attractions around Iceland might charge an entrance fee during the trip. These entrance fees are not included in the tour price and need to be paid by all tour members additionally on the spot when entering any of these natural sites. Locations, amount of entrance fee, form of payment and other details are not known at present and are subject to change.

ACCOMMODATIONS: For this program, we use budget accommodation to offer an attractive package price. You get great value for money. First and last night is at Hotel Cabin (small rooms). 2nd & 3rd night are at Árhús Cabins in Hella, South Iceland, where 23 simple cottages with shower/wc are located in a large garden right on the river banks in Hella. Árhús Cabins are popular with outdoor active guests and families traveling with children. All cottages are equipped with a small kitchenette and free Wi-Fi. There is a restaurant on premises, and the program includes 2x breakfast and 1x festive 4-course dinner.

There is an option to book a hotel upgrade: First and last night at Centerhotel Plaza and 2nd/3rd night at Stracta Hotel in Hella. Note that all Northern Lights educational programs and New Year‘s activities on the 31st of December are held at Árhús Cottages. It is a 10-minute walk (750 m) between Stracta Hotel and Árhús Cabins.

NORTHERN LIGHTS: This program includes during two evenings a combination of presentations, lectures, film and guided Northern Lights searches in the hotel garden in South Iceland. All countryside hotels in this program offer a Northern Lights wake-up call for guests that register for that special service at the hotel reception. The tour is dependent on weather, and therefore sightings are not guaranteed. The Northern Lights are in the northern sky from September through April but are only visible when the sky is clear and free of clouds. Like many of nature's wonders, it's ephemeral – they may be visible, they may appear for a bit and then be gone (it is not a TV show that you can just turn on and off). But it's worth the patience required. Because they're a winter event, you need to be prepared to wait outside, while looking for them. It's best to dress very warmly, in layers, with good footwear, gloves, hats and whatever else will make you comfortable while you await this truly outstanding event. For the best photos, we recommend using a tripod.

CHANGE OF PROGRAM: Itineraries may be subject to change at short notice during severe weather conditions and certain outdoor activities/day trips may be canceled during the winter season in Iceland. In these rare cases, where situations of force majeure apply, excursions/activities cannot be refunded but the local guides will try their best to find reasonable alternatives where and whenever possible.

BOOKINGS & FURTHER INFORMATION: Either via our international tour operator network or directly by email gjtravel@gjtravel.is and we process your booking by personal email communication. Don't you like that? In general, there is a non-refundable booking fee/deposit of up to 20% to secure space on the tour. We will send you a confirmation and invoice. Payment is due latest 4 weeks prior arrival. We accept international bank transfer, Visa or MasterCard. Once paid, we will send the vouchers and travel documents. Unfortunately, we do not offer an online booking engine and online-payment system for this tour.

CANCELLATION:  A cancellation fee of 20% of the tour price and accommodation will be retained us for cancellations made from 4 to 8 weeks before departure. From 28 days until 8 days before departure, the fee is 50%. No refund is possible for cancellations less than 8 days before departure, or for no-shows, and a tour began, but not completed. The exchange of one arrangement for another must be agreed by us beforehand.

Tour Code: GJ-24-NY

Excellent tour and full packed schedule. Brilliant guide; very knowledgeable and helpful. Accommodation rather basic, as advertised. The food was excellent. (booked through Escape Travel)
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Good pace of the tour. Guide: loved the stories - you should record them. Excellent manner. The cabins in South Iceland were lovely. Good variety and quality of meals. Courteous driver. (booked through Escape Travel)
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Lots to do, see and learn. The guide has lots of interesting stories. Very good meals indeed. Arhus cottages very accommodating; staff lovely and friendly. Very skilled driver on the snow and ice. (booked through On the Go Tours, UK)
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Great value for money. Filled a lot into the time available. Would recommend the tour. and we saw the northern lights; yeah!!! Excellent guide, knowledge + enthusiastic. Very considerate of our needs and wishes. Very generous with his time and sharing of this life stories. Borgartun guesthouse basic but adequate. Arhus Cottages are brilliant, beautiful location. The staff at both accommodation helpful and friendly. Food at all places was lovely. The 2 New Year's meals were excellent. Excellent driver. (booked through Baltic Travel, UK)
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Good tour program, the number of people in the group was good. Guide adapted the program to the weather circumstances and tried to arrange the best. We loved the cottages in Hella. At all accommodations, the people are really nice. Food at Arhus was top!!! Nice food and service. (booked through GJ-Travel Iceland)
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The tour was informative about Iceland and culture. A well-organized program, excellent. Knowledgeable, personable guide, story telling excellent. Accommodation basic but comfy. Great food. Coach driver handled ice roads well. (booked through On the Go Tours, UK)
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Tour Code: GJ-24-NY